Naya Rivera’s family remember the late “Glee” star, saying there are “no words to describe what we’re going through” exactly one year after she was reported missing.
In an interview on “Good Morning America” on Thursday, Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire reflected on her daughter’s legacy and explained what life has been like since the actor tragically died in a car accident. boat on Lake Piru in Southern California.
“Sometimes we are afraid that the grief will be so heavy that we are afraid for ourselves because it is difficult,” said Previtire, adding that the family is in therapy to deal with the trauma. “All we know is that we are each other.”
Rivera went missing in July 2020 after renting a boat with her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, who was found alone on the pontoon hours after returning home. After days of searching, Rivera’s body was removed from the water and authorities ruled that her death was accidental drowning.
For the first time, Previtire shared details of her last conversation with her daughter on the lake.
“I missed two of her FaceTime calls and called her back. And we had a great conversation. The sun was kissing her face and she was just beautiful, ”she said, fighting back tears. “She was wearing a beautiful white swimsuit and she was glowing.”
Previtre recalled warning her daughter that “the water is getting rough” and encouraging her to head to a cove where the lake tends to be “a little quieter”. Before hanging up, she then told Naya to call her when they got out of the water.
During the conversation, Previtire also took screenshots of Josey fishing from the boat. The photos ultimately helped police locate Rivera’s body during the day-long search, which Rivera’s sister Nickayla described as “absolute hell”.
Rivera’s sister, who has since moved in with Rivera’s ex-husband and their son, said she “knew the role I had to take on” after the tragedy and that the family would take matters “one day to the time”.
“Live to the fullest, love yourself to the fullest and have no regrets,” Nickayla said. “Because I know if we could go back we would kiss each other a little bit harder. “
As for how Rivera’s young son is doing a year later, Previtire explained that she viewed Josey as “a boy version of” his daughter “in every sense of the word,” emphasizing “his tenacity. , his dynamism, his zeal, his adventure for life.
“And most importantly, he likes to entertain,” added Nickayla. “He loves to sing at the top of his lungs. “
Rivera’s mother and sister also spoke about the outpouring of love and support from “Glee” fans, highlighting how important Rivera’s character, Santana Lopez, is to the LGBTQ community.
“Honestly, I don’t think she even knew the impact she had,” Nickayla said. “My sister, even though she was playing, touched people’s real lives and helped them become who they really are, and wasn’t ashamed of it.”
“I would like my daughter Naya’s legacy to be one that teaches people to love, to care. If something is wrong, try to fix it or talk about it, ”added Previtire. “And just to live life. God gave you life. You are your own person. Love who you are because you won’t have another life.
In April, the cast of “Glee” appeared virtually together to honor Rivera’s legacy at the 2021 GLAAD Media Awards, which marked the 10th anniversary of her character’s release in the comedy Fox in which she starred from 2009 to 2015.
Before Rivera’s body was found, some of her “Glee” co-stars gathered by the lake where she disappeared and were pictured holding hands on the shore alongside Rivera’s family.
Rivera was the third major “Glee” actor to die before the age of 40. His body was found exactly seven years after Cory Monteith died of a drug overdose at the age of 31. Mark Salling, who was awaiting a conviction for possessing explicit images of children, who died by suicide in 2018.
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